Marine Operations Projects » Kodiak Wave Buoy

Kodiak Wave Buoy

Andrew Gray and Marko Patticcui on board the F/V Anna D with CDIP buoys. Photo Credit: Dan Miller

Location of the Data

The Need

Waves are a critical factor in all shore processes, including sand transport, and beach erosion. They also can play havoc in coastal communities and stress coastal infrastructure, especially during storms. Wave information is also critical for maritime domain awareness, safe navigation, and for laboratory and analytical research into the physics of wave generation, propagation, and transformation. Modeling efforts for producing statewide wave and storm surge forecasts require real-world field measurements for calibration and model verification. Wave data are also used to research the efficacy of tide and wave-to-energy projects. Currently, wave buoys in Alaska help fill gaps in coastal areas that will benefit from wave information, including parts of the state where National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) buoys are not possible or cost prohibitive.

Project Location

This moored buoy is located approximately 17 nautical miles southeast of Chiniak Island, and consists of a Datawell Mark III directional buoy at a depth of 282 ft.

Project Details

In July 2019, AOOS entered a two-year agreement with NREL to assume the operations and maintenance of their offshore wave buoy deployed near Kodiak Island in order to keep the asset operating in this important maritime region through 2021. At the end of the loan period, the buoy will be recovered and returned to NREL. AOOS will be evaluating the use of wave information from this location prior to 2021 to determine if a wave buoy should be maintained at this location. AOOS welcomes feedback from data users regarding this asset.

The newly deployed buoy measures significant wave height, wave direction, sea surface temperature, and derived information on dominant and average wave periods and wave energy spectra and climatology. It is also equipped with a light that flashes five times in a 20-second cycle (five flashes 2 seconds apart, followed by a 12-second pause). Crew member Marko Patticcui of the F/V Anna D, owned and operated by Dan Miller of Kodiak, supported the repair and turnaround in October 2019 by CDIP engineer Andrew Gray.

As with the other two AOOS supported wave buoys, this buoy is also supported by the Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP). a nationwide network for monitoring waves and beaches along the United States coasts. The program has been operating since 1975 and has provided publicly-accessible environmental data for use by coastal engineers and planners, scientists, mariners, and the interested public. The US Army Corps of Engineers is the primary program sponsor, as they require reliable, long-term wave measurements for use in planning, designing, and operating coastal projects. CDIP is providing quality controlled data in real time, with data shared through multiple venues including AOOS Ocean Data Explorer Real Time data portal, the CDIP website, and the NDBC website.